Page Count Turns Two!

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Show Notes

Laura and Don celebrate Page Count’s second anniversary by sharing some of their favorite episodes along with a few fun facts. For example, did you know that this is the sixtieth Page Count episode? Or that cotton is the traditional gift for second anniversaries? Or that Laura is only in this for the fame and glory? Finally, Don and Laura offer a quick preview of what’s in the works for Page Count’s third season, which debuts May 21.

Laura Maylene Walter is Ohio Center for the Book Fellow at Cleveland Public Library, the host of Page Count, and the author of Body of Stars (Dutton). Don Boozer is the Literature Department Manager at Cleveland Public Library and the Ohio Center for the Book Coordinator.

In this episode:

To view all episodes, visit https://ohiocenterforthebook.org/podcast. And stay tuned for the Season 3 Trailer, set to air May 7, 2024.

Clockwise from top: Don Boozer shows off an armload of books in the Ohio Center for the Book’s collection at Cleveland Public Library; Page Count officially turns two years old; and Laura Maylene Walter visits the Jennifer Fisher Nancy Drew Collection at Toledo Public Library.

Transcript

Laura Maylene Walter (00:00):
I'm really in it for the fame and the glory.

Don Boozer (00:02):
<laugh> Well of course!

Laura Maylene Walter (00:02):
I mean, why else would anyone start a literary podcast focusing on Ohio? I don't know!

Laura Maylene Walter (00:11):
Welcome to Page Count, presented by the Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library. This podcast celebrates authors, illustrators, librarians, booksellers, literary advocates, and readers in and from the state of Ohio. I'm your host, Laura Maylene Walter, the Ohio Center for the Book Fellow and author of the novel BODY OF STARS. I'm here with Don Boozer, the Literature Department Manager and Ohio Center for the Book Coordinator. Don, welcome back to the podcast.

Don Boozer (00:40):
It's great to be back.

Laura Maylene Walter (00:42):
You are here because we are actually celebrating today. We are honoring Page Count's second anniversary. So this podcast launched in April 2022, which makes Page Count two years old and I guess we are now in our terrible twos. So Don, how do you feel about that?

Don Boozer (01:00):
I like to think of it as, you know, whenever you're terrible twos, you're getting your feet under you. You really know what you're doing and I've just been pleased beyond all expectations of how this has gone. So I think you've been doing a great job and I've enjoyed listening to the podcast. Just as a regular subscriber too.

Laura Maylene Walter (01:15):
It has been a lot of fun. So yes, I guess we have the ability to walk and run now and we can really cause some trouble, tear some things down. So let's, let's get into it. <laugh> But I did look it up and the traditional anniversary gift for a second anniversary would be cotton, just FYI for everyone out there. And I think we all know paper can be made from cotton, especially the finest of papers. So nothing but the best for us. So I think that's an appropriate anniversary gift for Page Count. So I like it.

Don Boozer (01:47):
And I still go back to the rounds of discussions that we had about trying to choose a name for the podcast too. <laugh> So I think we've done well.

Laura Maylene Walter (01:53):
Yeah.

Don Boozer (01:53):
So having that as the high quality paper for us is a, is a good observation.

Laura Maylene Walter (01:59):
Absolutely. So this episode right here is technically the 60th, that's six-zero, episode that we have posted over the last two years. But if you take out a handful of our trailers, our preview episodes and our shared episodes with partners, we still have well over 50 full length original episodes of Page Count that book lovers can enjoy by listening. We have done dozens of in-depth author interviews. We've done critique episodes where we've critiqued actual Ohio writers' work with literary agents and editors and other literary professionals. We have done deep dives into parts of Ohio's literary history. And finally we have also done live episodes at book festivals and writing conferences across the state. So it's been, it's been a lot of fun. We have done a lot. So with all that said, Don, since you are a fan of Page Count as well as being involved in Page Count, can you tell us what are some of your favorite Page Count episodes that you might point listeners to?

Don Boozer (02:59):
Well of course it's hard to pick favorites, but...

Laura Maylene Walter (03:01):
They're all so amazing, right?

Don Boozer (03:02):
They're all so amazing. Exactly. But I do love the fact that we've been able to have such a wide variety of guests and episodes as well. The live episodes have been great. Even the live tour that you took of the Toni Morrison room at the Lorain Public Library was a great sort of virtual experience for everybody. The fact that we've been able to partner with our other Centers for the Book Coordinators in Wyoming and Indiana, especially the Indiana one with Sammy the toucan, that has to be a highlight of our episodes there. And the fact that we've been able to interview our Great Reads from Great Places authors over the last couple years I think has been really great to highlight them. And my opportunity to interview Douglas Brinkley stands out as a highlight for me personally. because that was a very cool experience to have with him.

Laura Maylene Walter (03:43):
Yes, you did such a great job with that episode. I will be linking to the episodes that we are specifically calling out here, so I'll definitely be sure to link to that. That was a great one. I'll never forget interviewing Sammy, a toucan puppet, on an audio only podcast. You know, this is the type of journalism that you get from Page Count, really hard hitting. I would say some of my favorite episodes...I really love the episode that we did in partnership with the Wyoming Center for the Book with Lucas Fralick. And that was an episode about the Western author Zane Grey. And I don't know, maybe that one's my favorite because I got to just be snarky and complain about sexist things in a book from a hundred years ago <laugh>. But it was really fun and I really learned a lot about the history of the Western genre that I frankly just did not know.

Don Boozer (04:29):
Yeah, I would agree. That one's very cool just because the fact that you can have such an in-depth conversation about, you know, a book that's, you know, a hundred years old. So that was great.

Laura Maylene Walter (04:36):
Yeah, and Lucas was a wonderful guest with us for that one. And I also kind of in the theme of Ohio history, I really enjoyed speaking to Jennifer Fisher, who is a Nancy Drew collector. And we talked about Mildred Wirt Benson, who is the very first Nancy Drew ghostwriter. So that was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about that too. I really like these episodes where I get to go back in time a bit. I also, of course, I love author interviews. I really enjoy doing critique episodes with literary agents and editors who are so generous with their time. So I'll be sure to link to some of those as well. I've heard from a lot of writers that they found them very helpful.

Don Boozer (05:10):
The fact that there are so many connections with Ohio, we're never going run out of people to talk to and topics to cover. So it's amazing where you can all go with that basic premise that we have for the podcast. I'm curious to ask you, since you are the host of Page Count, has there been any sort of unexpected things that you had from, you know, either the recording or the editing process or anything like that? A behind the scenes look so to speak?

Laura Maylene Walter (05:34):
Well, behind the scenes I can say that so much more work goes into the podcast than the 40 or 50 minute episode that shows up every two weeks. It really takes a lot of research and I always read the books of my guests, by the way, which I don't feel that should have to be stated. But you know, I'm an author as well and I've been interviewed for things where no one has read my book. And I understand many complicated reasons for that. But I really think any interviewer reading the book is so important. So a lot of prep looking up the author, if it's an author interview, if it's one of those history episodes, a lot of research, reading biographies, etcetera, which is really fun. And then the editing after takes so long. And we do have some help from Alison Guerin in the Literature department.

Laura Maylene Walter (06:20):
So shout out to Alison. But then I do a final edit. It takes me a long time and a lot of edits...a lot of edits on every episode, just trying to clean it up and present the guest in the best and most honest way possible. So a lot of work goes into it, but I would say unexpected, not on the production side or the behind the scenes side, but the fact that Page Count has fans like actual people I've never met or have any connection to have come up to me at events and told me that they love Page Count and that they always listen to Page Count. And it's one of their favorite podcasts, which completely blows me away. Because we're just so, you know, we're a little literary podcast. We're fairly niche. I'll never forget being at Books by the Banks in Cincinnati a couple years ago, as an author, not for work, and a group of women from Cincinnati came up to me and were just fanning out completely about Page Count and I felt like a rock star of literary podcasts. So thank you to those <laugh> to those listeners.

Don Boozer (07:15):
That's awesome.

Laura Maylene Walter (07:16):
It's enjoyable to know that there are people out there who find this content useful.

Don Boozer (07:20):
Well, I will say it's well deserved. You do a great job hosting the episode, so well done. And we can only go up from here with even more fans. So.

Laura Maylene Walter (07:27):
You know, I'm really in it for the fame and the glory.

Don Boozer (07:29):
<laugh> Well of course.

Laura Maylene Walter (07:30):
I mean, why else would anyone start a literary podcast focusing on Ohio? I don't know! But no, you have been so supportive and so great. And you of course, for those who don't know, Don heads up the whole Literature Department at Cleveland Public Library and you're the Coordinator for Ohio Center for the Book. So you do a lot of behind the scenes things with Ohio Center for the Book and partnering with other regional affiliates of the Library of Congress. So we'll have more on that actually in an upcoming episode in season three. But yeah, I think we have a lot of exciting things coming up in the near future.

Don Boozer (08:01):
Speaking of season three, do you want to give us any sort of look ahead and sort of pique people's interest in our upcoming season?

Laura Maylene Walter (08:08):
Yes, we have some really big stuff coming up. So right out of the gate on April 20th, we are doing a live episode at the Ohioana Book Festival featuring Hanif Abdurraqib and Jacqueline Woodson, which is so fantastic. They are both rock stars in the literary world. I can't believe I'll be speaking with both of them. So that's going to be very exciting. So that will be one of our very first season three posted episodes. I also interviewed Amy Jones, who is the Editor-in-Chief of Writer's Digest, and we together looked at an issue of Writer's Digest that is more than a hundred years old and we talk about it. I loved it. So a 1924 issue of this writing magazine...what was different in the industry, what is the same. Spoiler alert, rejection was always a thing writers. But typewriters! Most of the issue was about typewriters in some way. So that was really fascinating. So that was fun.

Don Boozer (09:03):
And I love the fact that you're able to talk about Writer's Digest. I don't think a lot of people maybe even know that it has an Ohio connection.

Laura Maylene Walter (09:09):
Yes, thank you for pointing that out. They were founded in Cincinnati and still based in Cincinnati.

Don Boozer (09:14):
Yeah.

Laura Maylene Walter (09:14):
So it's over a hundred years old and it's an institution in the writing world. So yeah, that was really exciting. You and I together will be doing a podcast tour of the Thurber House, which is in Columbus, celebrating humorist James Thurber. So that should be fun.

Don Boozer (09:31):
Yeah I'm really looking forward to that.

Laura Maylene Walter (09:33):
Yeah, I think that's going to be great. I have an episode coming up about Dawn Powell who was a really prolific author in the forties and fifties and then she sort of fell into obscurity for many years before her work was recognized again. So I am speaking with Dr. Jennifer Swartz-Levine, who is at Lake Erie College where Dawn Powell went. And so we'll be talking about Dawn Powell. And then other things like Sara Moore Wagner's poetry collection, LADY WING SHOT, surrounds Annie Oakley who's from Ohio. So there's so many little Ohio tidbits just scattered throughout every corner of culture that is really fun to explore in this way on the podcast.

Don Boozer (10:11):
Yeah, I agree. The one that I'm looking forward to is I had a hand in myself was our interview with the Director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, who not only do we have a connection with because we're an affiliate center of the Center for the Book, but Guy himself is actually originally from the Cleveland area from northeast Ohio. So having that Ohio connection with the Director of the Center for the Book, I think is the coolest thing. So we'll get to see a little bit about his life and upbringing and what he brings to his job at the Library of Congress.

Laura Maylene Walter (10:37):
Yeah, Guy is fantastic. So that will be another one to look forward to. And I also have lots of other things in the works, but we won't just go on and on about how fantastic Page Count is <laugh> even though this is our anniversary episode.

Don Boozer (10:49):
Please don't stop.

Laura Maylene Walter (10:50):
We have a lot. We have a lot coming up. We'll be interviewing our Great Reads authors again this year and just a whole lot more. So very exciting stuff. We are going to post our season three trailer, which will feature very short snippets from a few of the episodes I just mentioned. We will post that on May 7. And then season three will officially kick off on May 21. I also just want to quickly thank some people at Cleveland Public Library who help make this possible. First of all, you Don, I have to thank you for all your support and helping make the podcast what it is. But also Catherine Young who puts together our video promos for us. She's so responsive, she does everything right away and Catherine is fantastic. Alison Guerin, who does rough edits of the episodes and she often helps with the transcripts, so we appreciate that. And of course John Skrtic and Felton Thomas, who's the Director of Cleveland Public Library for supporting Page Count and making it possible.

Don Boozer (11:48):
I agree. We have a great team of people that come together to help us out and it's just been a wonderful ride so far and I am looking forward to season three.

Laura Maylene Walter (11:57):
Yep. So listeners, thank you for coming along with us on Page Count's ride. We have a lot more to come and we will see you in season three!

Laura Maylene Walter (12:10):
Page Count is presented by the Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and leave a review for Page Count wherever you get your podcast. Learn more online or find a transcript of this episode at ohiocenterforthebook.org. Follow us on Instagram @ohiocenterforthebook or find us on Facebook. If you'd like to get in touch, email ohiocenterforthebook@cpl.org and put "podcast" in the subject line. Thanks for listening, and we'll be back in two weeks for another chapter of Page Count.

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